The Co-operative Group has become the latest co-operative to obtain the Fair Tax Mark, which shows that a business is paying the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time.
To get the Fair Tax Mark, enterprises must be transparent about their tax affairs and provide sufficient accounting data to demonstrate a fair tax policy is in place. The Group’s new tax policy can be found online.
Research shows that corporate tax avoidance has become the number one concern of the UK public when it comes to business conduct.
Ian Ellis, the chief financial officer at the Co-op Group, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark.
“It shows that we do the right thing in respect of tax, which our members, customers and our communities consider an important issue.
“Being awarded the Fair Tax Mark is a clear demonstration of how we seek to put our purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities into practice.”
The Group operates a total of 3,750 outlets across the UK, employing 70,000 people, and has a turnover of £10bn.
Meesha Nehru, programme director at the Fair Tax Mark, said: “It’s wonderful to see a business with the heritage of the Co-operative Group embrace the Fair Tax Mark. The Group has previously pioneered so many ethical accreditation schemes, it should come as no surprise to see it at the forefront of another growing social movement.”
Other co-operatives to obtain the Fair Tax Mark include pioneers the Phone Co-op and the Midcounties Co-operative. The Radstock Co-operative and Co-operatives UK have also received the accreditation.
Lisa O’Hare, head of direct tax at the Group, said: “The tax team has always sought to apply the Co-op’s values and principles in managing the tax affairs of the Co-op. Tax can be a challenging subject, but we recognise that it is important that we are able to explain how we operate and how we calculate our tax in an as accessible way as possible. The Fair Tax Mark tells us we are doing a good job of this.”